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TNA Sacrifice 2006 PPV Review
It?s TNA PPV time once again, and tonight they present Sacrifice. The World X Cup Tournament finals are tonight, and with it come a slew of unfamiliar names and faces. Without storylines and few known characters, the X Cup boys may have a difficult time connecting with the crowd. In addition to the World X Cup Tournament, we will also see some other things that we are not accustomed to: AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels have formed a tag team, A1 will have a solo match tonight, and Samoa Joe will find himself teamed up with Sting. Tonight does not look like a typical TNA PPV, and as such the stage may be set for TNA to do things differently. Change may be good, but it is also risky, only time will tell if TNA is up to the challenge it has laid out for itself.
The show starts with a very nice and noticeably improved video package running down the matches on tonight?s card. This will be the first of several noticeably improved video packages that will be run during the show. When we go live we are treated to the typical fireworks and pyrotechnic display before going to ringside.
Match 1 ? Jushin Liger vs. Petey Williams World X Cup Tournament Match
TNA has typically started off their PPVs with very fast, and very flashy matches. Tonight whether they meant to or not, they broke that trend. Liger and Williams put on a fair match, but it seems their unfamiliarity with each other disrupted their timing, and caused the match to have a slightly uneven flow. Neither man seemed to shine in this encounter, and as a result the match had a definite free TV feel. To make matters worse, the satellite feed was broken towards the end of the match, and did not return until after the match was over. When the picture and sound return we are told that Liger won the match before being sent to the first of tonight?s backstage interviews.
Jeremy Borash interviews AMW with Gail Kim and a crying Jackie. AMW gives a typical ?We?re the greatest? promo, and Jackie announces that she is pregnant, prompting Gail Kim to ?fire? her. The interview if followed by a video clip recapping the creation of the Styles/Daniels tag team.
Match 2 ? AMW vs. A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels
I believe it?s hard to go wrong when you have Styles or Daniels in the ring, and once again they show why. The two worked very well together and gave the match a very fast start. They worked as a team using a number of ?tag team? moves and techniques, rather than wrestling a ?singles? style and then tagging out from time to time. AMW started off a little bland, but picked things up towards the end of the match with some nice tag wrestling of their own. Both A.J. and Daniels hit some of their signature moves along the way, but in the end A.J.?s head was not harder than Harris?s nightstick, and A.J. was pinned. Although the middle of the match seemed slightly mediocre, the beginning and end of the match made up for it, leaving me quite entertained.
Next we go backstage with Borash for an interview with A1 and Larry Zbyszko. Here we learn that Larry has secured the help of A1 to deal with his Raven problem, as well as the fact that the ?New Face of TNA Management? will debut at the next TNA PPV. The interview is followed by Raven vs. Zbyszko package.
Match 3 ? A1 w/Zbyszko vs. Raven
PPVs should feature PPV worthy matches, and this certainly was not one of them. A woefully out of shape Raven, combined with the skills and style of A1, made for a very slow, and very basic match. Frankly this would be sub par for even for free TV. The two went through the motions until Raven secured a win via DDT. After the match Zbyszko challenged Raven to a match but the two were separated by security.
Interview time again, now featuring Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner. The two give the standard ?Were gonna getcha? promo and we are then shown a Roode vs. Rhino video package.
Match 4 ? Bobby Roode w/ Scott D?Amore vs. Rhino
The length of a match is critical. To short and the fans will feel cheated. Too long and the achievements of the wrestlers seemed diminished. Unfortunately, what could have been a solid match was watered down by the fact that it simply went on for too long. The two did very well for the first 75% of the match, but things deteriorated from there. Had they cut out 3 minutes they would have had a totally enjoyable match, instead of a mediocre one. The end came when Roode was able to pin Rhino will a little help from D?Amore.
A Team 3D interview is next, followed by a Team 3D vs. The James Gang package.
Match 5 ? Team 3D vs. The James Gang
A wise man once said: ?PPVs should feature PPV worthy matches?, he might have been talking about this match when he said it. Without a doubt, this was the best scripted, and well thought out match I have seen in quite a while. This match showed why each of these teams have been so wildly popular in the past. Both teams did an excellent job of pulling the fans into the match, and made exceptional use of psychology and storytelling in the ring. The two teams meshed well together, and although they really didn?t do anything new, they executed their standard moves with such meaning and conviction that it didn?t? matter. In a reversal of their last match together, BJ hit Devon with a lead pipe to secure the win. This one isn?t over, and I?m looking forward to the next time these two teams lock up.
Once again we go backstage for an interview, this time with Abyss and James Mitchell, followed by a replay of the missed footage from the Liger vs. Williams match that opened the show. Kristy Hemme then came to ringside and we are told that she will be presenting the trophy to the winner of the World X Cup Tournament.
Match 6 ? Team USA vs. Team Canada vs. Team Mexico vs. Team Japan World X Cup Tournament Finals
I find it ironic that the only part of this match that stood out was the very beginning when there were only two men in the ring. Minoru Tanaka and Puma kicked off the match with a very impressive display of cruiser weight wrestling. Unfortunately, once the other participants started entering the ring, things broke down into a generic battle royal style punch and kick fest. This format just didn?t allow for any of the wrestlers to shine. These guys need space to pull off their best moves, and they just didn?t have it. Additionally, this match just didn?t feel right. I really got the sense that everyone was just killing time until the moment came when they were to be eliminated. The end of the match came when Petey Williams hit the Canadian Destroyer on Puma to give Team Canada the win and tie Team USA in points. After the match Kevin Nash came into the ring and powerbombed an already prone Puma, and then cut an anti-X Division promo.
Next, Samoa Joe gives an interview promising destruction to his opponents, after which a Sting vs. Jarrett video clip is played.
Match 7 ? Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner vs. Sting and Samoa Joe
Thank goodness for Joe. If it wasn?t for him, I don?t think I would have cared what happened in this match. In fact, the times when Joe wasn?t in the ring seemed rather meaningless. That?s not to say that Sting, Jarrett or Steiner turned in poor performances, it?s just that when some combination of them were in the ring, the match didn?t seem important. For me, this match was about getting Joe out of the X Division and having him mix it up with the big boys; and in doing so he more than held his own. The four put on a good match with Joe getting the win after hitting Jarrett with the Muscle Buster. Following the match Joe left the ring, giving Jarrett and Steiner the opportunity to attack Sting. Joe did not return to ringside to help his former partner and eventually other wrestlers from the back had to come out to make the save. Much like the match itself, I don?t really care what happens to Sting, but I can?t wait to find out what?s next for Joe.
In the final backstage segment of the show we get a very well done Abyss vs. Cage video package and a poorly acted Christian Cage interview
Match 8 ? Christian Cage vs. Abyss NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Tables, ladders, chairs, and chains and I?m still not impressed. Despite all of the out of the ring storyline and build up, this just didn?t seem to be an important match inside of the ring. Christian didn?t seem particularly upset with Abyss, and Abyss didn?t seem like this was a title match. The two more or less went through all the motions of a T.L.C. match, but without any of the passion or emotion that usually accompanies such affaires. Overall I found this slow paced mix of brawling and T.L.C. spots rather uninspired. Christian retained is title by way of a slash off of the ladder onto a table prone Abyss.
TNA tried something different tonight, and it just didn?t work. Though all of the usual suspects had their typical good matches, the rest of the card just didn?t cut it. Team 3D vs. The James Gang was a nice surprise, but the World X Cup Tournament was rather disappointing. More importantly, TNA doesn?t need tricks, or gimmicks to create good PPVs. If they would just let the most talented and popular among them into the spotlight, and push those who have found staring roles through other means into the background, I think they would find these PPV reviews far more favorable.
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